We Bought a Zoo
A widowed father played by Matt Damon moves to the South Californian country and purchases a zoo with his family
On Film4: 31 Aug 6:25PM
"John Wayne, the big guy with the battered hat... and Dean Martin, the ragged woman-wrecked cast-off called Dude... and Ricky Nelson, the rockin' babyfaced gunfisted kid... And time was running out through bullet holes at Howard Hawks' Rio Bravo".
This is about a sheriff (Duke Wayne), who says in a tough situation, "You better hope your friends don't catch up with me, 'cause you'll be the first man to die."
The hero in this the first and best of Howard Hawks' informal trilogy (El Dorado, Rio Lobo) is the aptly named John T Chance. During a period of two or three days he holds a murderer in his jail, waiting for the US Marshall. His only help comes from a drunk (a perfectly cast Dean Martin), who redeems himself, a cocky youngster Colorado (rock star Ricky Nelson), who proves invaluable and an old man (Brennan), who remains totally consistent. Like a family - grandfather, two contrary sons and a grandson - they unite against unwelcome intrusion.
Flawlessly cast, complex, amusing and exciting, the film integrates multi-layered themes into a unified and satisfying whole. And it's great entertainment, something a few critics forget to mention.
If you don't like Rio Bravo, you don't like films.
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